09-18-2015

5th Avenue Mile 2015 Race Recap

First I want to say…TGIF!! I’m so pumped that it’s the weekend, mainly because I’m (and Dan and my sister) heading to Penn State tomorrow for the Rutgers vs. Penn State game. They have a stripe out planned, but hopefully we have a big enough RU contingent that our red ruins some of their stripes ;)

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It will be cool seeing a much bigger stadium than anything I’ve ever been in…but I just really really hope Rutgers can pull off the win!

Anyway, last Sunday, my mom and I ran in the 5th Avenue Mile. We have ran in 2 other times previously, and it is always one of our favorite races.

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This year was a little different because I got an invite to run in the media/social media mile. It’s a speciality heat with only about 50 people (as opposed to hundreds) and reserved for members of local media and bloggers such as myself. Since it was a small heat, I was really nervous about coming in last place and everyone else being way faster than me lol.

My mom’s wave went off first at 10:40. We ran about 1.5 miles together for her warmup, then I stood around the 1/2 mile marker to wait for her.

5th Avenue Mile is just a straight shot down 5th Ave…20 blocks. It starts on a slight decline, then you have an incline until 1/2 mile, then it flattens out. It’s weird because you can see the finish line from the 1/2 mile point, and it feels so close, yet it is still so far. That’s a tip I have heard time and time again: do not accelerate just because you see the finish, it is still far away!

My mom decided to start off conservatively and pick it up in the last half mile. She regretted that decision because she felt she could have ran faster, but she finihed in 7:53!

Afterwards, I met up with her and then it was my turn to run. She stayed at the 1/2 mile point, then I headed out to do more of a warm-up and strides before my heat at 11:45. 

I didn’t really know what my own strategy was going to be. I figured I’d go out hard and just try to hold on.

I was surprised by my splits for the first half mile: 1:44 and 1:46 (quarters). I was like damn if I keep this up I can finish in 7 minutes! But I finished in 7:38, so as you can see I slowed down a bit in the second half.

I felt like I was just running as fast as I could. I love the fans on the sides cheering and one guy yelled, “Great form!!! You have great running form!” I was like oh, ok! :)

The cool thing too about the media mile was that I had the whole road to run on. When you’re in the age group heats it is very crowded and you’re running around people. For me, I was running alone the whole way. The faster group had left me, and the other group behind me was about 10-15 seconds behind me, so I was smack dab in the middle. 

I tried to throw in some “surges” to speed up when I could but I was basically just already going as fast as I can. I mean, can you tell the pain by my face here?

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The photographers captured some great ones of me and my mom, now deciding which ones to order. I have yet to order a cool action shot of me running, but would like one where I don’t look like I hate running lol.

Oh lastly, another cool thing was that they announced my name as I crossed the finish! 

Once we crossed, we were told we could go to the VIP tent, and guess who was there? Meb!

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I said him, “I just tried to run as fast as you!” and he laughed and said hey, you did good, and fist bumped me! :-)

Afterwards, we went for a run while we waited for the elite races to go off. I mainly wanted to see the women’s race, especially Jenny Simpson! We went up to the start to watch the elite men and women warm up. Interesting to note that they are warming up about 45 minutes before race time…meanwhile I warm up like 15 minutes before haha. Here are some pics from the warm-up:

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Treniere Moser

Treniere Moser

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Matt Centrowitz

Matt Centrowitz

Shannon Rowbury

Shannon Rowbury

Jenny Simpson ended up winning, and this is the second athlete and first female in event history to win 4 5th Avenue Miles. Pretty cool!

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Also, did you see the oldest man to finish the race? He’s 96 and finished in about 21 minutes. Such an inspiration!

This is one of my favorite races of the year…if you haven’t ran it OR have never ran a 1 mile race, I highly recommend it. It’s tough, but over in a flash. A fun race day all around.

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Have you ever ran a 1 mile race? Which one?

Football talk: do you have a favorite college football team? What’s your alma mater?

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09-16-2014

That Time I Met World Champion & Olympian Jenny Simpson

I never in a million years thought I’d be able to go for a run with and get coffee with an elite runner. My “runspirations” are Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan and Jenny Simpson…who I met last week!!!

It all started when I met her at the 2012 5th Avenue mile. I watched her race and was right by the finish line so when I saw her I figured I’d ask for a picture. I remember her being super nice about it.

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Then, she started following me on Twitter (!!) and we interacted a few times. I reached out to her a few months ago to see if she could do a quick email interview for my blog, which she did. Read it here for some great running advice from a pro!

After the interview she said to keep in touch once 5th Ave. Mile came by again, so I went out on a limb and emailed her 2 weeks ago to see if she’d like to meet up for coffee and/or a short run since she’d be in NYC. To my own surprised she emailed back and said sure! I was so pumped!

So we met up on Thursday before the race (Saturday) at her hotel and went for a short 1 mile run through Central Park to the coffee shop. It was so cool and she was so nice and down to earth – it felt like running with a friend.

We talked about so much ranging from sneakers to travel to Rio De Janeiro to her epic race where she fell at the finish (and needed stitches). Here are a few key points I remember:

  • Pros take off after a season too. 5th Avenue Mile was her last race of the season so she is now taking 2 weeks off from running. She said she struggles getting back into it once those 2 weeks are over and feels just as out of shape and sore as us regular runners do when we take running breaks.
  • Her long runs are 15 miles (and she runs the 1,500-3K…clearly I need to be running longer since I’m half marathon training!)
  • She loves long run days. We chatted about how I like track workouts and am not a fan of long runs but she likes just getting up, going out for a run and not having to think about pace or anything.
  • When she runs in the AM she gets up, stretches and is out the door. She does dynamic warm-ups before workouts. Good – because that’s what I do too!
  • She’s a fan of Roll Recovery and suggested it to me for my shin issues. I should look into it. Currently I’m a fan of the Rumble Roller.
  • She had to get stitches after her win in Zurich when she fell. If you haven’t seen the race, check it out here:

  • She doesn’t do as many double days as Kara Goucher (who’s a marathoner). She runs doubles probably twice a week.
  • Her husband runs a marathon each year and she suggested checking out Chicago Marathon because they have a great atmosphere. She wasn’t a fun of the LA Marathon.
  • Eventually maybe she will do a half or full marathon. That’d be cool to see!
  • She’s also inspired by Kara and Shalane and we talked about Shalane’s awesome performance at the Boston Marathon.

That’s all I can think of right now but it was a great conversation. Now I can say I have run with an Olympian! I’m sure my pace was like walking pace for her ;)

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So yeah, this was definitely an awesome experience, and thanks to Jenny for agreeing to hang out with me. Feeling inspired and motivated now with regards to running…now if only I could run a 4:20 mile like she just did at the 5th Avenue Mile…

PS – She won the 5th Ave. Mile this past weekend. I wish I could have been there, the field had some great runners like Brenda Martinez, Jordan Hasay, Mary Cain and more!

What athlete would you like to run or workout with if you could?

Who is an athlete who inspires you?

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09-25-2013

5th Avenue Mile Race Recap

This is one of my favorite races.  While some people may think it’s crazy to pay to run 1 mile…actually people think it’s crazy to pay in general…this race is so fun!

Saw this on Jess’s Facebook Page (blog: racepacewellness.com)

I was also excited because my dad would be running this one too, along with me and my mom. The race is broken up into age groups, so we all got to see/cheer each other on.

We got there around 8 and I registered and quickly did a 1 mile warm up. I was hoping to beat last year’s time of 7:07, but I knew it might be hard. I had run the past 12 days prior (didn’t actually realize this until now) and the day before we had a big tailgate for the Rutgers football game, aka I was standing for hours. It’d be hard but I was going to try to get that PR!

I had butterflies waiting in the corral and once I started running. I had to calm down in order to breath right. Does anyone else get butterflies when they first start a race?

I love this race because it really does fly by. They have signs at 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, 3/4 mile, and 100 meters to go. At the half mile mark there is a slight downhill so you can really turn it on for the rest of the race.

I was feeling more tired during the race than I did last year so I figured I wouldn’t PR. I tried not to look at the clock, plus I’m bad at mental math anyway so it would do me no good. I suppose I could have looked at the street signs (the race is 20 blocks) but I didn’t think of that lol. I started my phone stop watch at the line and planned to stop it once I crossed.

Before I knew it, it was over! I sprinted the last 100 meters because 3 girls around me sped up and I did not want to be passed! I finished in 7:23. I’m okay with that!

Afterwards, my mom and dad went for their warm up run, as their races were back to back. I couldn’t get a picture of my mom because I lost her in the crowd, but here’s my dad:

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He had been running the past few weeks again to prepare for this race and I knew he was excited for it. He didn’t think he could break 8:30, but he ran 7:22! We stayed and watched a few more races, then my mom and I went to run an extra 3 miles. When we got back, the 80+ category was up. Seriously so inspirational! Check out this man:

I hope I am still running when I am older, I don’t care how slow I go.

Afterwards, we went to get some breakfast before the professionals race. I wanted to watch Jenny Simpson race, especially because I got a pic with her at this very race last year!

She won the race in around 4:18? Seriously, can I be that fast??

I didn’t get to take a picture with her, however I did get one with Olympian Leo Manzano:

As I was writing this post, I looked up 1 mile races in NJ…and found one on Nov. 30! I will definitely try to run that, and hope I can PR since it will be after the marathon!

Overall, it was a great day for a race. Can’t wait to run it again next year!

Have you raced 1 mile before? What’s your favorite race distance?

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09-23-2013

Week 12 of NYC Marathon Training

Only 41 days to go!!! As much as I have liked this training plan, and love running…I’m ready for this to be here. I am ready for a break from running so much and I want to get back into lifting!

Here’s last weeks training:

Monday:

I had this weird pain in the my shin unlike anything I have felt before…so I wanted to take it easy. I felt it just walking around so I knew I shouldn’t run. My mom and I took WillPower & Grace instead (1st time). I really liked it!

Tuesday:

This was supposed to be our scheduled rest day. But when I got home from work my dad wanted me to go for a short run with him. I ended up doing a really easy 2.5 miles and it made my shin feel a little better.

Wednesday:

1 mile warm up, 9 miles at goal marathon pace, 1 mile cool down.

I was really nervous about this because of my shin. I had to stop for a bit at mile 2 to stretch my calves because they were on fire. I told myself, just get to 5 miles and if it sucks, call it a day, if not, keep going. Surprisingly, by mile 3 my body was warmed up and my mom and I were cruising! Our goal marathon pace is 10:18, and most of the miles here were a bit faster. Our training plan tells us to stick to paces, but this felt fine to us as we were running. I don’t own a Garmin, so we use RunKeeper on our iPhones, therefore we can’t be checking paces while we run, and don’t know our splits until the end (it only gives us average pace per mile as we are running). Overall awesome run!

Thursday:

Easy 5 miles. My legs were feeling it. They felt like lead. We slogged through this one.

Friday:

Easy 10 miles.

Legs still felt a bit tired, but we were able to keep a consistent pace for 10 miles. Ended the last mile a bit faster.

Saturday:

Easy 5 miles. Ran these in the morning because I knew I’d be tailgating/going to the Rutgers football game all day. Surprisingly, my legs felt good and I was running at what is now my goal marathon pace…I don’t know how that happened! Here’s a pic from the game (that we won!)

Sunday:

5 miles.

I ran the 5th Avenue Mile with my parents…such a good time! My legs were feeling tired from standing at the game all day the day before, but my final time was 7:22. Hope I can break 7 min. next year! I ran 1 mile warm up, then 3 miles after for a total of 5 miles for the day. Also ran into fellow blogger Theodora from Losing Weight In The City! First time meeting a blogger in real life, hopefully I can meet more eventually! If you have the chance, definitely run this race one day! I will be posting a race recap in the coming days.

This weekend I made a dailymile account. I track my miles on my own, but figured this would be a good way to be social with other runners as well, since I’m sure my Facebook friends don’t really care as much ;) Add me if you are on there as well!

What is your favorite race distance? I love this one mile race and wish it was more popular…short and sweet!

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